It seems, sometimes, that the lessons I learned on my mission are the ones I see again and again.
One of the things I learned was the difference between spirituality, religiosity and emotionalism.
I’d forgotten about it until my wife, finding herself unemployed as a stay-at-home housewife whose children had mostly died, went back to school to study nursing. Over and over again she would encounter people who were religious, but not spiritual or who relied on emotional states to fill in for the Spirit, much like I had encountered as a missionary.
Being intensely religious fails people in emergency rooms all over the world. Emotionality, having the emotions that go with some spiritual experiences, but without the spirit, fails people over and over again where the Spirit sustains and gives comfort.
As Naiah and many others have mentioned, the purpose of life is to encounter obstacles and experience reacting to them. Religion, the Spirit or emotional states will not avoid obstacles for us, but only one of the three will help us react to them in ways that help us grow and give us useful experience.
Those that take other paths, such as descending into bathos in every youth experience to trigger emotional experiences or rigid rules based approaches and explanations for everything in all encompassing religious patterns are either following the sadducees or the pharisees. I hope everyone remembers that when Christ was asked to choose between them, between the Liahona and the Iron Rod, he chose a third path.
Everything else is shadow, that fails in the end.